Tio Hardiman, Director of CeaseFire Illinois, shares his thoughs of a world with no violence in Huffington Post.
The Connecticut Massacre should serve as the tipping point to start a serious dialogue across the nation regarding sensible gun control laws and treating violent behavior as a public health issue. There are over 15,000 homicides a year across the United States and year after year our great nation has to experience another tragedy. What have we really learned from the Colorado Massacre, Oklahoma City Bombing, and several mass killings that have plagued the United States? Some people like to talk about more gun control and some people would like to address the issue of violence as an infectious disease. Right now, in the United States we are losing way too many people to senseless acts of violence and there is relevance regarding both sides of the argument. Protecting the second amendment is very important, but where does the buck stop when so many innocent people are killed each year?
Somewhere along the way we have lost sight of the bigger picture. Imagine living in a world where violence was not tolerated in any form or fashion. This way, young people would not be exposed to violence in the movies, media or music. However, we may have to rethink some of our history lessons, which tell the stories of world wars throughout the history of the world. What would the conversation sound like when you do not promote violence as a lifestyle? Let’s start by imagining that most people living on the earth would live to the age of 99 and nobody would be shot or killed across the world for years. Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but we have to create a vision without violence hopefully sooner than later. Imagine young people growing up in a world where love, acceptance, humility, and friendship were the main lessons in life? This would be great due to the fact that we are all part of the bigger human race. Hopefully, the world leaders will take a good look at the issue of violence being treated as a public health crisis and maybe people like Adam Lanza could have received the help he most drastically needed before allowing his sick thinking to consume his mind which led to the mass killings in Connecticut.
There is no time for judgment in this situation because it’s hard to predict the future. Young people deserve a chance to grow up without the threat of violence and together we can make this a reality for the entire world. The United States should pay respect to all of the victims of violence by organizing a mass memorial across the nation to help bring much needed attention to the issue of sensible gun laws and how violence spreads like an infectious disease. Timing is everything and today is the right time to take this gun control issue connected to public health all the way to the top in order to help our children understand that you can live in a world without worrying about violence. This post is dedicated to all of the victims of violence worldwide and the little children that were killed in the Connecticut Massacre. Rest in Peace!